Arizona’s primary election for 2020 is history, although counting continues and some races will not be determined for days at least. As usual, some observers were surprised and others not, and some races were close and some not at all.
Pinal County Assessor Douglas Wolf won a decisive re-election bid over Casa Grande challenger Mike Cruz in the only countywide race. Other Republican incumbents in countywide offices had no challenge in the primary and apparently will not in the November general election. That is a reverse from the hold that Democrats always had on the county until a couple of decades ago.
The Pinal Board of Supervisors will have two new members in January after Anthony Smith of Maricopa retires and two-term member Todd House lost in the primary to Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy. Pete Rios, the only Democrat on the board and a perennial powerhouse at the polls, fended off a challenge by retired sheriff’s Capt. Ruben Leos. Steve Miller of Casa Grande, a leader on water and other issues, was unopposed. Mike Goodman of San Tan Valley, a leader on getting better utilities in his community, defeated challenger Chuck Gray.
In Legislative District 8, the Republican House race was too close to call, but David Cook of Globe seemed to overcome an ethics challenge to lead the pack. Frank Pratt and Neal Carter were neck-and-neck for the other nomination. The winners will face Democrat Sharon Girard of Eloy. In LD11, JoAnna Mendoza of Red Rock won the Democratic nomination for Senate over Linda Patterson and will challenge incumbent Republican Vince Leach of Saddlebrooke. Other LD8 and 11 nominations had no challenge.
Casa Grande had an unusual situation with no contest for City Council or mayor, but other area cities had spirited contests. Some of the council candidates in those garnered a majority and will not have to run in November. Eloy will have a new mayor in Micah Powell after his successful challenge of Joel Belloc, and Florence Mayor Tara Walter will be in a runoff.
Tiffany Shedd of Eloy won a decisive victory in the 1st Congressional District primary against Nolan Reidhead, as did incumbent Congressman Tom O’Halleran on the Democratic side against Eva Putzova of Flagstaff. Sen. Martha McSally easily won the Republican nomination over Daniel McCarthy to advance to a major battle against Democrat Mark Kelly.
The general election season will be a battleground for the next three months. But for now, the Pinal County and Arizona voters who showed an interest have had their say in nominating the candidates.